Donald Phillips
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Donald Phillips

Binghamton - Donald L. Phillips, 74, of Binghamton, NY passed away unexpectedly on December 30, 2018 of natural causes. Don is survived by his loving wife of fifty-two years, Elaine; son, Don, Jr. (Seattle); and daughter, Barbara (Binghamton).

Don is arguably best known as "Mr. Christmas" for masterminding the locally famous, massive holiday light "cul-de-sac" on Upper Front Street. Don also had many ties to the local community. He was an English teacher at Chenango Forks High School for 34 years, owner of Don Phillips Plumbing of Chenango Bridge for over 30 years, former Chairman of the Zoning Board for the Town of Chenango, off ice official for Binghamton's pro hockey teams and trip host for Tom & Jerry's Yankees Bus Trips.

Funeral Services will be held Friday 10 am at Dormition of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church, 53 Baxter Street, Binghamton. The family will receive friends at the Allen Memorial Home, 511-513 East Main Street, Endicott Thursday from 4-7 pm, with a Parastas Service at 6:30 pm. Expressions of sympathy in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association and sent to the Windsor Central School District Office, 1191 NY Route 79, Windsor, NY 13865.






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Published in Press & Sun-Bulletin from Jan. 2 to Jan. 3, 2019.
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72 entries
January 9, 2019
Dear Elaine,
My daughters and I are very sad to hear of Don's passing. He was always kind and genuine to me. A friend I could depend on and a person who was interested to help others. I shall miss his jokes and laughter and truthfulness.
My heartfelt condolences to you and Don and Barb,
Karen Sommer
January 6, 2019
Elaine, I am so sorry for your loss. I remember when you and Don became our backyard neighbors you on Jean Ct, Charlie & I +Chuck, Jacque, Brian & Kevin on Jeffrey Dr. Newlyweds I believe. Over the years he was at our home for plumbing issues too. We also enjoyed his Christmas displays over the years. He & Charlie are probably up there talking about their golf games. May your memories bring you much comfort. He was a wonderful person.
Beverly Robbins
January 5, 2019
We extend our condolences to the Phillips family. Saddened to learn of Dons passing. I had the privilege of playing numerous rounds of golf with Don. These rounds were some of my most memorable times golfing. Dons love of the game and keen sense of humor were always on display. Great memories. Peace be with you. Sincerely, Jim Huntley.
Jim Huntley
January 4, 2019
So sorry to hear of Dons passing..Always enjoyed his classes, he made English bearable..Thanks for the memories.May all of these memories bring you peace in the days to come..
Deborah Strickland Rhodes
January 4, 2019
sending love ❤
Aleida Davis
January 4, 2019
So sorry to hear of Don's passing. Always enjoyed his humor and wit on the Yankee bus trips. He will be missed. Keeping your family in our prayers.

Blessings,
Darryl & Francine Reynolds
Vestal, NY
January 4, 2019
To the Family,
I am very sorry for your loss he was a friend and best English teacher you could have ever asked for. Class of 69. Michael Feeko Jr.
January 3, 2019
Sorry for your loss, he was a great man. I had him for a teacher and he made class interesting. He will be missed by all. God Bless you Mr. Phillips.
Sandie Heier
January 3, 2019
Elaine and family, so sorry to hear about Don. Thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Tom Capozzi
January 3, 2019
Don was a dear friend. We talked and joked with him before every hockey game. He was a good man and hockey games will not be the same without him there. Our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family. May God watch over you now, Don. Sincerely, Alan and Jeanette Williamson
Alan and Jeanette Williamson
January 3, 2019
Mr. Phillips was the most influential teacher, role model, and boss I had in my life. Guided me through many choices as I went through high school and early college. Was a teacher and supportive guide all the time. Learned so many life skills and appreciate the genuine love and support he gave me. What great father, teacher, neighbor, fix it man, etc. So many lives he touched and I will forever be grateful for his part in mine.
Chris Rice
January 3, 2019
Heartfelt condolences to Elaine and the family on the sudden passing of your loved one. Christmas is a special time for all of us, and Don's love of Christmas will burn brightly in the memories of all who loved and respected him. May he rest in eternal peace, God Bless.
Cheri Emily
Family
January 3, 2019
Will miss Don on the Yankee trips. Very personable and knowledgeable. May you rest in Peace.
Dan Eiklor
Acquaintance
January 3, 2019
He will be missed, I don't think he realized how much Christmas spirit he bought to people . He made a difference Rest in peace .Prayers to his family .
kath M
January 3, 2019
Sincere condolences to the Phillips family. Mr. Phillips was my English teacher at Chenango Forks. He was a great teacher, very witty, never unkind. He will be missed by all of his former students.
Laura (Moreau) Gardiner
January 2, 2019
Don you will be missed dearly. Fly high.
Caden Lindow
January 2, 2019
Sincere Condolences
to the family.May you rest in eternal peace Mr.Phillips,every time a bell rings a angel earns there wings , you have earned your wings to Heaven...Amen
Gail Steele
January 2, 2019
My son Evan and I are heartbroken. We first met
Mr Phillips 12 years ago when Evan entered 3rd grade and Don's daughter Barb was Evan's teacher.
He came across immediately as a warm and wonderful man when we first met him.
We were fortunate to enjoy his company on several
trips to Yankee games and he always had a wave of the hand for my son when we would see him
on the ice entering his scorer's box at the hockey games at the Arena. Count us among the many
who will miss him very much.

Our condolences to Elaine, Don, and Barbara

Ron and Evan Weber
January 2, 2019
It was with great honor to have met such a wonderful man. I will sure miss our conversations. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Phillip's family. Don will certainly be missed.
TR Wescott
January 2, 2019
We are so sad to hear of Don's passing. He was just at our house a few weeks ago working on our furnace. We were telling him how much we enjoyed his awesome Christmas display every year. Don was one of a kind. Such an honest and caring man. When our son bought a house in the Forks a few years ago, Don came by to work on the furnace. After about an hour's worth of work, he wouldn't even charge us. Instead he said Tell your son Congratulations on his first home. No charge today. He was just that kind of good hearted soul. We looked forward to our chats with Don and will truly miss him. Our condolences to his family. We will keep all of you in our prayers.
Ed and joanne Thomas
January 2, 2019
Dear Elaine and family,

I am literally beside myself in shock when i heard the news...Don and i used to have some great conversations about our mutually favorite team,The New York Yankees!! I still have the yankee yearbook Don gave me a few years ago as well ! He will be very missed, but know you all have a special angel on your shoulder! Special prayers and thoughts for you all at this sad time !
Gail Sperber
January 2, 2019
Many fairways and hallway walked with Don.
I share in your grief Elaine.
William Ryan
January 2, 2019
With deepest sympathy . Always enjoyed talking with him and enjoyed the way he brightened up the holiday season, will be missed by all.
Bob Danoski
January 2, 2019
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January 2, 2019
I am so sorry to hear about Dons passing. I always enjoyed chatting with him at the hockey games. He was a great person and will be dearly missed. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Nancy Underwood
January 2, 2019
1983 CF yearbook
Jenny Nestrick
January 2, 2019
Tom Williams
January 2, 2019
Tom Williams
January 2, 2019
1971-72 school year
Mike Connell
January 2, 2019
1968-69 school year
Mike Connell
January 2, 2019
Mr. Phillips' first year at CF, the 1967-68 school year
Mike Connell
January 2, 2019
May your memories of the wonderful times you shared with your loved one comfort you and your family, today and always.
American Heart Association
January 2, 2019
... god bless Don and his family and friends. I was fortunate enough to have his guidance and humor while growing up in high school. Theres a part of him in each of us that he touched with his many talents. You will be missed. Rest in Peace.
Rick Guzzey
January 2, 2019
Elaine and family,
I was saddened to read of Don's sudden passing. I was fortunate to work at Tradition's golf course where Don and his group were the first people out every weekday. Don always had a smile and a good word and would catch me up on Forks News. He was one of a kind and will be missed!
Bud Reyen
January 2, 2019
I may not have known you, but the joy you gave to children of all ages (including this 68 year old kid), will be forever remembered thanks to your amazing Christmas displays. I think you were a big kid at heart!!!
My heartfelt condolences to the family...so very sorry for your loss.
Gloria Gow
January 2, 2019
So sorry for Don's Passing. We grew up together in those small towns in Pa. when things were a lot simpler back then. A sincere quality person and always there for family, friends and community. He certainly will missed.

- Bill Flynn
January 2, 2019
Debbie Tierney
January 2, 2019
Don,

I always was happy to see you, whether appearing in front of the Zoning Board (of which your meetings you ran better than anyone) or at the Arena or just bumping into you in the community. You were the epitome of a gentleman and a class act. May you Rest in Peace Don. You will be missed. Peace and Prayers to your lovely family.
Jim Tofte
January 2, 2019
My thoughts and prayers go out to Don's family...What a guy... ALWAYS there for me when I had a plumbing issue...We loved to talk Hockey and always had a few laughs...RIP my friend...
Mark Wheeler
January 2, 2019
To all of Don's many, many friends and family I send my deepest condolences. Don was a wonderful man who we knew from the many Yankee Stadium bus trips we shared with him. He is a huge loss to the world, and I've read all of the other memories and condolences,and I agree with every word! Rest in peace, Don. Memory eternal!
Bob Irwin
January 2, 2019
Elaine and family,
I was so sad to hear about Don's passing! He was a good man who always made people feel cared about and special. May your memories bring you peace during these difficult days ahead...

With love,
Pati Markam Maus
January 2, 2019
Dear Elaine, Don and Barbara,

I am so very sorry for your loss. Words cannot express the sadness I feel for you. Don was a kind, always smiling friend. He would come into Lowe's and would say "there's Sel Vinci" and then come over to chat. Of course, mostly about the Yankees. Barbara and I looked forward to joining him on our trips to Yankee Stadium. He will be truly missed. RIP Don.
Selma Vinci
January 2, 2019
Dear Elaine, Donnie and Barbara,

My deepest sympathy. Words cannot express how deeply sorry I feel for your loss. Don was one of a kind, always smiling and sharing tidbits of our Yankees. Whenever he came into Lowe's he always said "there's Selma Vinci" and would come over to chat. Barbara and I always looked forward to being a part of the group heading to Yankee Stadium. He will be truly missed. RIP Don.
January 2, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. Don was truly respected and liked by everyone at the Town. The Town of Chenango will never forget his years of service as Chairman of the Zoning Board.
Rhonda Pudiak
January 2, 2019
Sympathies to the Phillips family on Don's passing. Thankful for so many years of countless smiles and joy that his wonderful Christmas displays brought to our family and many other visitors over the years. Blessings to Don for his sharing spirit and to his family.
Beverly S Litynski
January 2, 2019
Sympathies to the Phillips family on Don's passing. Thankful to Don for the many years of smiles and joy his wonderful Christmas displays brought to our family and countless other visitors over the years. Blessings to Don and his family.
Beverly Suflita Litynski
January 2, 2019
I am so very sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. All of us girls at Pete's Diner will miss Don's kindness and sense of humor. Rest in Peace Don. God Bless you all.
Lisa Marie David (petes diner)
January 2, 2019
I am so sorry to hear of Don`s passing. I knew Don when I used to work at Northrup Supply. He will be greatly missed.
Mel Renfro
January 1, 2019
I am so sorry for the loss of an amazing guy who was amazing decorator of the cul-de-sac that I love to go see every year. I still remember the first time I saw those displays
Amy Klinko
January 1, 2019
So sorry for the family. He was a wonderful man and a fabulous teacher. May he rest in peace. It was to early for him to leave.
Karen Hoag
January 1, 2019
Mr. Phillips, you were a great teacher! I am lucky to have been one of your students. I am eternally grateful that you cut me some slack during my senior year (1970-71) so that I could graduate. You set the bar high as to what a caring teacher should be. Rest in Peace!
Charles Woodruff
January 1, 2019
Elaine, Barbara, Don,
So sorry for your loss. What a wonderful man!
He will always be remembered for the joy he gave to others.
Joyce Westgate
January 1, 2019
That's a tough loss. Mr Phillips previously lived on Pamela Dr where I grew up just a few houses down. I enjoyed my senior year ELA class so much because of his personality and humor. So sorry for his family's loss. God bless.
Mike Coon
January 1, 2019
To the Phillips Family -

So sorry to hear the sad news. He was a wonderful man, and we will all miss him.

The Yonda Family,

Bob, Evelyn, Carolyn and Eric
January 1, 2019
Godspeed Mr. Phillips. An unforgettable 12th grade English class- " The Cow room".
Sports trips. Everyone loved your Christmas display.
Was just joking around with you at Lowe's recently.
You will be missed by many...my thoughts to Barb and all the family.
Jesse McHale
January 1, 2019
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Don was a wonderful man that always had a smile and kind word. May your memories help you through this difficult time and may his knowledge, expertise and Christmas spirit live on.
Barbara Fortunato
January 1, 2019
We will miss you Don, and the joy you gave to so many each Christmas season! From your neighbors, the Bronsons
Ginger Bronson
January 1, 2019
Nice man. Memory Eternal. God's comfort and peace to his family....Barbara Harrison
January 1, 2019
January 1, 2019
So sorry for your loss. Don was my high school English teacher, my host on a Tom & Jerry bus trip, and an electrician who created beautiful Christmas displays for the community which my family enjoyed viewing each year. Prayers to your family.
Michele Foran Merwarth
January 1, 2019
Dear Elaine and family,
We are so so sorry for your loss. We always enjoyed chatting with Don when he completed plumbing work in our home, most recently in October. Joe shared his love for the Yankees and enjoyed Don as his host on many trips to Yankee games on Tom and Jerry's bus trips. We enjoyed Don's his smile and kind waves when happened to pass him in his Plumbing van. He surely will be missed.
RIP Don.
MaryAnn & Joe Rason Tremain
January 1, 2019
Elaine and family so sorry for your loss,may the Lord comfort you all at this time.
Carol Wildoner
January 1, 2019
Carol Wildoner
January 1, 2019
Elaine and family,I am so sorry for your loss. I didn't know him but through you Elaine, and so many others I know he was a great man loved by many. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless.
Kris Watrous
January 1, 2019
So very sorry to hear this. We enjoyed Travelling with him on Tom and Jerry's bus trips, and always loved his light displays at Christmas. Our condolences to his family.
Cheryl & Mike Sergi
January 1, 2019
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Ann Leader
January 1, 2019
Mrs. Phillips, Don and Barb,

I was so very saddened and shocked when I saw this. Mr. Phillips has always been a special person, teacher and neighbor. Many good memories as a child and an adult. I was always very proud to show my kids the giving of Mr. Phillips each year. This year they all finally got to meet him on a Yankee trip. I am extremely grateful they had that opportunity. I truly wish there were more people like him in this world. Love and God Bless to you all.
Dennis Shaul
January 1, 2019
Barb and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you.
Denise Riley
January 1, 2019
Barb,
So sorry to hear of your father's passing. Take comfort in the years of memories you shared.
Cathy Dopko
January 1, 2019
Mr. Phillips... an icon at the Forks and beyond... he'll be forever remembered and loved...
Kathi Bailey
January 1, 2019
Mr Phillips in the early 1970s
I had him for English in 12th grade. Remember the classes well. He flunked me, but I deserved it! I had to make it up in summer school at Broome Tech!

Rest peacefully Mr Phillips. You've earned it. You put knowledge in our brains for three decades and put smiles on the faces of thousands equally as long with your Christmas displays.
Mike Connell
January 1, 2019
May all the angels and saints come to greet you.
Linda Trowbridge-Martone
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